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Sanofi extends collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture

8 July 2015  •  Author: Victoria White

Sanofi is to extend its collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) to jointly develop a new single, fixed-dose combination therapy for malaria.

malaria

The collaboration began a three-year research project agreement in May 2011 to develop drug candidates from Sanofi’s compounds selected for their potential activity against malaria parasites.

The collaboration has today yielded two potential treatments, OZ439/Piperaquine and OZ439/Ferroquine, each of which is a single, fixed-dose combination therapy independent of artemisin. Extension of this collaboration will allow phase 2b trials for OZ439/Ferroquine to begin this summer. OZ439/Piperaquine is currently in a phase 2b clinical trial. At the end of phase 2b, the Joint Steering Committee will determine if either of the two combinations meet the criteria for advancement to phase 3 trials.

Resistance to currently available malaria treatments has been increasing

“Sanofi has a deep commitment and long history of addressing public health threats like malaria.  As resistance increases to current antimalarial therapies, it is critical that we innovate to improve the efficacy and convenience of antimalarial treatment,” said Gary Nabel, Chief Scientific Officer, Sanofi. “By joining the fight against infectious diseases around the world and extending the successful collaboration with MMV, we aim to stay one step ahead of this ever-changing threat and work together toward the eradication of malaria.”

Critical unmet needs exist in malaria treatment as resistance to currently used artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) has been increasing in Southeast Asia and has created a growing concern that drug resistance could spread to Africa, where about 90% of the estimated 584,000 annual deaths from malaria occur.

In addition to addressing growing treatment resistance, artemisinin-independent therapies could greatly increase healthcare professionals’ ability to access and treat patients in endemic countries where compliance is a key concern. The new combination therapies would be administered in a single-dose, representing an improvement in administration over the three-day courses used for ACT therapies. The efficacy of these single-dose administrations will be evaluated and compared to ACT existing treatments.

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